Manchester City welcome Sevilla to the Etihad in round three of this season’s UEFA Champions League. After losing their opening fixture to Juventus, City ignited their latest European campaign by coming from behind to claim a last-gasp victory at Borussia Monchengladbach last month. Former Sevilla man Jesus Navas, who now plays for City said,
“For me it will be a game of mixed feelings but I can only think of Manchester. We’ve got to go as far as we possibly can. It would be great if we could go a long way in the competition. We’ve got a very good group of players. We’ve got some really fantastic players in this squad and with the strength of the squad that we’ve got it is very, very important that we do go far in the competition. It will be a great season if we could manage that.”
as he looks to overcome his emotions to help City build some Champions League momentum. As for Sevilla, the current Europa League holders will be looking for a second win of the Champions League campaign, to put themselves on course for a place in the knockout stages. Like City, Sevilla also have three points after beating Monchengladbach but losing to Juventus. They have never before played City and have not won on three previous visits to England.
City will be without six players for this game which includes key players Sergio Aguero and David Silva. Gael Clichy, and Aleksandar Kolarov are also out leaving City without a recognised left back. Midfielders Samir Nasri and Fabian Delph are also sidelined for this game.
Striker Fernando Llorente and Michael Krohn-Dehli are a doubt for this game.
- This is the first ever competitive game between Manchester City and Sevilla.
- Manchester City have lost five of their last six Champions League games against Spanish opposition (D1). Their last win was against Villarreal in November 2011.
- None of Manchester City’s 30 Champions League games has ended goalless. They have only kept four clean sheets in these 30 games.
- All three goals scored by Manchester City in the Champions League this season have come in the second-half.
- Manchester City have the oldest average age among the 32 squads in this season’s competition: 28 years and 8 months old (among players with minimum one game played).
- Sevilla have never won an away game against an English side in European competition (D2 L1). Their last trip to England was in the Champions League group stages in September 2007: they lost 3-0 at the Emirates against Arsenal.
- Only one of Sevilla’s nine Champions League games away from home has ended in a draw (1-1 v CSKA Moscow in February 2010).
- Sevilla are taking part in their 3rd Champions League campaign. They have always gone past the group stages but never past the last 16.
- All three of Sevilla’s goals in the Champions League this season have been scored from set-piece (two penalties and one following a corner).
Raheem Sterling – Manchester City
Raheem Sterling’s £50m price tag raised a lot of eye brows but the talented youngster was quick to settle into his new team, showing why City were right to pay such a huge sum for him. Coming off of a brilliant weekend against Bournemouth, Sterling scored his first senior hattrick to become the 11th player under 21 to net a hat-trick in the Premier League era. In the absence of Aguero and Silva, Sterling holds the key to beat Sevilla to put City in a strong position to qualify from the group.
Yehven Konoplyanka – Sevilla
Sevilla’s summer signing, Konoplyanka, once a target of English clubs Liverpool and Spurs, offers explosive pace down the flanks, an eye for key contributions in the final third. The impressive winger already has three goals to his name this season and Sevilla will be relying on his pace to provide the threat going forward if they are to get something out of this game.
This could prove to be a tricky game for City given Sevilla’s attacking threat but I expect them to go out there and get the job done.
Manchester City 2-1 Sevilla